Friday, December 2, 2011

I John 3:7-8

I John 3:7-8 Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this. When people do what is right, it is because they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. But when people keep on sinning, it shows they belong to the Devil.

No one can do what is right in God’s eyes without his help. The proof of whether or not one has genuine faith in God is the life he lives. There is a consistent pattern of pure living, whether he is surrounded by people or all alone. Let us pause for a moment and think about this. The real test of faith is how it affects our lives when we are all alone. Do we act or think differently when we know no one is around to watch us? Do we yield to temptation or resist it? Think about it. What kind of stuff do you let in your mind when you are alone? How much of your alone time is devoted to feeding your soul? How much time do you waste on things that do you more harm than good? If your faith doesn’t help you when you are alone to do what is right before God, it is not much use to you at all.

The way we live matters. When we consistently are caught up in sin, it is a pretty safe bet that Christ does not have a hold of us. A true child of God has resistance power. He has the desire and ability to say no to temptation. Failure to resist Satan is a good sign that one’s allegiance is to him and not the Lord. Now, I am not saying that we will never sin. We do. But, we do not always yield to temptation. We have a desire to say no rather than yes. And when we fail, we have a desire to make it right with God.

Jesus gives us righteous hearts and we are more prone to not sin than are those who do not have Christ in them. The more Jesus has a hold of our hearts, the less likely we are to sin.

Monday, November 14, 2011

I John 2:9-11

I John 2:9-11 If anyone says, “I am living in the light,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is still living in darkness. Anyone who loves other Christians is living in the light and does not cause anyone to stumble. Anyone who hates a Christian brother or sister is living and walking in darkness. Such a person is lost, having been blinded by the darkness.”
It matters what we think about others, what we feel towards them. Some people hurt us and sometimes very deeply. It may be physical, emotional, or mental. However it may be, we sometimes get hurt and it may alter our lives completely. For some, the damage is so severe that life becomes very difficult and it affects our ability to live in victory in Christ.
Yet, John tells us that we must love and not hate those who hurt us. It is not impossible to love those who hurt us, otherwise God would not have instructed John to write it. Our biggest hurdle to move from hate to love is our will. We do not want to change. We like to live with an attitude of hate because it somehow makes us feel in the right. We have been wronged and the other party is guilty. We want to take matters into our own hands and see that justice is served. We want revenge. Therefore, we savor our feelings and resist the need to change. However, if we are to be right with God we have no choice, we must move from hatred to love. The question is, “How is that possible?”
God is love. The only way we can love those who hurt us is for us to immerse ourselves in God. We must determine in our hearts that we need God. We must know that it is impossible for us to change apart from a deeply rooted connection with God. We must seek God. We must enter into His presence as often as possible. We must consistently draw near to God until we know that our heart changes. We must first experience the love of God for ourselves before we can love those who hurt us. There is no other way to move from a hate-filled heart to a love-filled heart.
A true child of God does not linger in the darkness of hatred. In fact, he is incapable of living in hatred. God is love and when God is in us, we become vessels of love. As long as darkness envelopes the soul, God is not there. God is light and love and where he is they fills up his dwelling place.
Dear friend, if you are struggling to forgive and love someone today in your past or present, spend all the time you need in the presence of God. Do not shortchange yourself. Wait on the Lord and he will change you. He will fill you with a heart of love. Pray about this until you pray through.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I John 2:3-6

I John 2:3-6 And how can we be sure that we belong to him? By obeying his commandments. If someone says, “I belong to God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and does not live in the truth. But those who obey God’s word really do love him. That is the way to know whether or not we live in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Christ did.

Being saved is more than just saying you are. A true child of God will obey the Word of God. There will be a conscious and determined decision to strive to live according to the teachings of Scripture. There will be a desire to learn and understand the Word so that the Word can have its proper affect on how life is lived. It’s not too hard to figure out those who are trying to obey the Lord from those who aren’t. The difference between the ways of the Word and the world are like night and day.

One of the sure proofs of a life lived in obedience to God is the love that comes from the heart. We obey God because we love him. We love Him because it is the natural response of a heart who has been forgiven and filled with the presence of Christ. We love Him because we are so grateful for his forgiveness and willingness to adopt us as his children. We love Him because of his willingness and efforts to change who we were into a people like him. We love Him because of his loving provision for our needs now and for all of eternity. If we are true children of God, we cannot resist the urge to love him back, for he first loved us. He sought us out to save us. He is the one who prepared us for the day of our salvation. There is no greater love than the love of God for us and then the growing love we have for God.

He who claims to know God and yet does not love God and obey him is a liar. The Truth is not in him. Are you telling the truth when you say that you love God?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I John 2:1-2

I John 2:1-2 My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if you do sin, there is someone to plead for you before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who pleases God completely. He is the sacrifice for our sins. He takes away not only our sins but the sins of all the world.
The Word is given to us to help us to know what is sin and how not to do it. God does not want any of us to sin, even though he knows we will. Knowing our spiritual weaknesses that causes us to sin, God provided for us a Savior who not only can forgive us, he can help us to not sin. Jesus is on our side. Whenever we do sin, He is there to stand in-between God and us so that God in his anger will not destroy us. Jesus pleads the case before God for all who are in his care and sins. He does not go to the defense of those who are not his, they are on their own to answer to God, they have no protector. In Christ there is forgiving grace. He honors those before God who honor him. There is no sin that He cannot and does not forgive if there is genuine sorrow for it. If we are genuinely sorry, we will change and not continue to live in our sin.
Jesus pleases God completely. He did what he was sent here to do. He lived a sinless life so he could die a sinner’s death. He became the perfect sacrifice for sin. There was nothing left undone that had to be done for us to be forgiven by God. He forgives us, but not just us. He forgives all who come to him for forgiveness. There is forgiveness for everyone in the world if they want it. No one is beyond the reach of God’s love and forgiveness and love. No one.
God is not happy one bit when we sin. He hates it. But, when we do sin, we have someone who can appease the wrath of God, Jesus our Savior. God can only forgive us through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pray for us.

Heb. 13:18 Pray for us, for our conscience is clear and we want to live honorably in everything we do.

This should be the desire of every believer’s heart, to be prayed for so that he can live honorably in everything he does. Let’s face it, we need prayer. No one can live successfully in Christ without prayer. We need to pray for ourselves and we need the prayers of the body of Christ. The more prayer support we have, the more successful we will be. It baffles me how we think we can live in Christ without it. We don’t’ pray often enough for ourselves or others. Prayer is considered an optional part of our spiritual lives. We fail to grasp the importance of prayer.

Who do most of the praying? Those who don’t know Christ as the personal Savior. Think about it, the Muslims pray, the Buddhists pray, those caught up in cults pray, Hindus pray, just about everybody who believes in some kind of a god prays. Yet, we who claim to know God, fail to pray. Isn’t it ironic? I wonder what the Lord thinks of us?

Who do we let do most of our praying for us? Is it not our pastors, spiritual leaders, and friends? We somehow have gotten the idea that if we join in on the prayers offered during church services that it is enough to satisfy our needs. We can never learn how to pray for ourselves except by doing it for ourselves. We will never let God know we care about him unless we actually pray.

When we pray, we are talking things over with God. It is an act of worship and it shows respect for God. It is showing God we are grateful for the privilege of approaching him. Prayer is our connecting point with God. So, why aren’t we praying? Don’t we have a sense of our need to be in the presence of God? I suspect that one of the reasons why we have a hard time really sensing God’s presence in worship is that we are not connecting with God daily in our lives.

The only way we are going to effectively live with clear consciences is to stay in touch with our Father. I need your prayers and you need mine.

“Lord, I ask that all who read this devotional today will have a pure heart before you. I ask, Lord, that you will speak to their hearts right now about any sinful thoughts or deeds they may have. Lord, purify them so that they will know the peace of a pure heart. Forgive them of their sins so that they can face today with a clear conscience. Lord, help each one to live a life of honor before you today in all they do. May others see Jesus clearly in and through them. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Flirting and liking it

     One of the ways to know that you are heading down the road to moral failure is when you find yourself flirting with someone and feeling good about it.  Almost all of us like it when others respond positively to our flirtations.  When you start to look forward to flirting, especially with specific people, beware.  It's a slippery road and can quickly tempt us to move beyond flirting to taking action.
     You are most vulnerable to flirtatious activity when things are not "exciting" at home.  When you are not getting the attention you want or need, you will be more likely to enjoy fliriting with someone other than your spouse.  It may start out innocently, but it can quickly and easily go farther than you intend it to.
      One of the ways you can protect yourself from potential moral failure is to flirt with your spouse instead of someone else.  The grass is never greener on the other side of the fence.  If we were to put as much energy and time into flirting with our spouse as we do with others, we would go a long ways toward saving our marriages.
       Failure to keep on flirting with your spouse is one of the big reasons why so many of our marriages fail.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Too Friendly

      If you are honest with yourself, you probably have been in situations where you have been too friendly with someone of the opposite sex.  It could be a co-worker, neighbor, someone in your social circle, a family member, or maybe someone at church.  Someone pays attention to you and you like it.  Perhaps you are in a vulnerable period of your life when things aren't going too well at home.  You are made to feel like you matter, that you are special, a somebody.  Without even realizing what you are doing, you respond in a flirtatious way. 
       When this begins to happen, you must take responsibility for your behavior and understand that if you don't put the brakes on and stop it, you will likely fall into moral failure.  We are wired for specialness.  We want to be treated with interest.  We want someone to want us.  We like the feeling that comes with being paid attention too.  It is normal.
      The best way to keep the fires burning at home is to make your spouse your best friend.  Light banner and playfulness at home will go a long ways towards keeping your marriage fresh and fun so you won't fall prey to the temptations out of it.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Chaity: Fantasies

In our sex-crazed world, it is impossible to live amongst people without thinking about them. There are everywhere we go and in order to avoid them we would have to be either dead or totally isolated from them. Assuming we are not dead, we still can’t escape our thoughts. Because we are constantly exposed to sexual content and our most basic human drive is sex, we have a problem that won’t go away. We are naturally attracted to people of the opposite sex. Whether we are at home, work, or play, we see people whom we are attracted to.

While this is normal and should not alarm us, dwelling too much on people we are not married to should. It is not healthy for any marriage to dwell on someone that is not your spouse and begin to fantasize what it might be like to be with them for a few stolen minutes. Whether it be on the job, in your social circles, on the internet, watching the movies, or even at church, if you find yourself focusing on someone who is not your spouse, it is a warning sign that you may be heading for moral failure.

When it begins to happen, you must take the bull by the horn and put a stop to it before it takes root in your mind and destroys the life you share with your spouse. Your spouse should be the object of your affections, not someone in your fantasy world.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Chasity: Fixation

One of the warning signs that you may be heading for moral failure in your marriage is a fixation on the attractiveness of others other than your spouse.  Let's be honest with ourselves.  It is so easy to take for granted our spouse and lose sight of his/her good qualities.  We are prone to see the flaws in our spouse and see through rose-colored glasses others.  In public most of us put our best foot forward and at home let our hair hang down.  We fix our eyes and thoughts on the best of others, forgetting that behind the best is the worst of who they are.  We forget that most people cover up how they really are.  We see our spouses without the make-up, fancy clothes, unshaven faces, colognes and perfumes.  We see others in a positive light and ignore the fact that when the light is turned off, they are usually totally different.

Fixating on the appearance of others intrigues us and causes us to think that what we see is better than what we have.  We begin to imagine how green the grass is on the other side of the fence.  When things are tense at home, there is an increased tendency to look.  If left unchecked, it can lead us into not only the temptation, but the sin. 

We cannot avoid looking at others, but we can control how much we look and dwell on them.  If you find yourself fixing your gaze a lot on others (TV, movies, internet, magazines, books, all count), be aware that you are wandering away from your spouse.  You are weakening your love relationship with him/her and jeopardizing your ability to stay true to marriage vows of fidelity and love.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


     In my book, I have included a chapter on chasity, which is another word for purity in the marital relationship.  There are many ways to tell if you or your spouse are loosing grip on purity in your marriage, which if left unchecked will ultimately lead to infidelity and probably divorce.  I list 27 different warning signs to look out for to determine if you or your spouse are beginning to let down your guard.  I will be focusing on these warning signs in future blogs so you can do a gut check to determine how you are doing.
      I believe that heart and mind purity is something that everyone should strive for in marriage.  While I understand that it is impossible to be perfectly pure, we can certainly do a lot to help ourselves and our marriages in this area.  It is not okay to open ourselves up to all kinds of temptations to stray away from the love of one's spouse.  Keeping ourselves loyal to our spouse in marriage takes a determined plan and consistent work over a lifetime.  It is a battle many are losing, but it is a winnable battle. 
       As a Christian, I know that we can do all things through Christ who gives us the strength.  The Lord will help us, but we must want his help and allow him to do it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Covenant of Marriage

     The more that I observe marriages and the struggles couples are having, the more convinced I am that the heart of the problem is the attitude most people have when they enter into marriage.  Missing in most couples is the concept of marriage being a covenant relationship.  When a couple is married in a church or in a setting where a minister of the Gospel officiates, the ceremony is more than a legal ceremony to make the union where a man and woman can live together in an acceptable way in society.  It is a spiritual ceremony as well where commitments are made before God and man to live in the marital state until death separates then.
      While more and more couples are opting out of the marriage ceremony, or are by-passing the involvement of the church, there still is great value in taking vows made before God and man seriously.  If a couple is not committed to keeping their vows when they are spoken, then they need to rethink getting married. 
       There needs to be much greater importance put on marriage as a sacred institution than is generally done.  Pastors would do a couple much greater service if they were to stress the covenant aspect of a marriage while helping a couple prepare for marriage.  And they would do the people under their care a huge favor if they were to reinforce the covenant aspect of marriage on a regular basis in their ministries.
        The problem with marriage will continue to grow until we get back to the basics and see marriage as God sees it.  We have to stop looking through the lens of our culture and starting looking through the lens of God's Word if we are going to stem the tide of struggling marriages and divorces.
         No marriage is beyond help if a couple starts it off right and seeks help before it is too late.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Living a pure life.

We live in a day in which it is almost impossible to keep our minds pure.  Everywhere we turn we are bombarded with ads, movies, books, magazines, and music that entices us to take our sexuality outside of our marriage vows.  No one is immune.  We are caught up in our moments of weakness and forget our vows of chasity.  Unless we take specific measures to protect ourselves, we yield to the temptation to either dwell or act on our impulses.  What can we do?  In my book, C Through Marriage, I offer a list of 27 different ways to protect ourselves from infidelity in marriage in my chapter on Chasity.  Bottom line is, we are going to fail unless we take responsibility for our actions.  No one can say no to temptation for you.  Every couple should hold each other responsible for their behavior.  If you and your spouse work together to stay pure and true to each other, you can do it.  There is no valid excuse for failure to live a pure life before God and within your marriage.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Books, Books, Books

Selling books is tough in today's ever-changing world of books. Even though authors of books are small in number compared to the masses of people in the world, it is increasingly getting more difficult to gain an audience. An author may have written the best book in the world, but it may never be known because of the sheer volume of books out there. There are many outlets on the web and elsewhere where books may be found, but it takes an enormous amount of work on the author's part to get his/her book known. Seldom does an author sell enough books to recoup his costs, let alone pay for his time and effort in selling his books.
There are many books out there that simply are not worth the paper they are written on, but there are many others that are worth many times over the cost of the book. Be discerning in what you read, but discover the wonderful world of books. Reading some books will forever change your life.
I invite you to check out, C Through Marriage, on the web and see if it may be a book that you would want to bring into your home. Reviews may be found on Amazon and

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Downfall of Marriage?

There is a growing discontent with the tradional institutional marriage. Depending on what survey you listen to, most people in America today think differently about marriage than previous generations did. Fewer and fewer couples view marriage as a sacred covenant to enter into. Fewer couples today stand behind their commitment to stay married "until death do us part". People are opting out of marriage and are instead entering into relationships of convenience without the strings attached.
Marriage as we have known it is rapidly moving into a very dangerous and deteriating condition. It is so much easier to walk away from one's problems than it is to try and solve them. The stigma of divorce no longer hampers us and society makes getting a divorce so easy.
Yet, there is hope. There are numerous resources available to help troubled marriages and the soon-to-be married. Many churches have outstanding ministries devoted to the married. There are many good magazines and books devoted to showing the way to a better marriage.
If you are in a troubled marriage and want help, I encourage you to take advantage of the help that is out there. Or, if you just want to spice up your marriage and make it what it used to be, check out what is available.
You may find my book, C Through Marriage, helpful as well.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Our Need for Holy Living

I grew up in a holiness church. There was an awareness of God's holy nature and it was preached and taught. I have noticed a switch in what most churches emphasize today. We dwell on God's love and grace and rarely challenge one another to holy living. While I know God's love and grace, I also need to know his holiness. Holiness keeps me aware of my sinfulness and need for Christ to be my Savior and Lord. When we dwell exclusively on God's grace, we lose respect for his holiness.
There is no greater need in the church today than a proper respect for the holiness of God. Without it, we no longer fear God or respect him as our judge. There is no motivation left to submit and obey Him. There is no sense of our need to keep on growing into godliness.
The church is only as strong as her witness to God's holiness. It is the meat and bones of our faith. Nothing much is going to happen as far as reaching people for Christ until we regain our need for holy living.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Road to Success is Work.

I hate to admit it, but I must. There is no way that I am ever going to exhuast the contacts that can be made on the net. The more I reach out with the message of my book, the more I discover just how big the world we live in is. There are an endless amount of opportunities available for people to connect to the world. There is a seemingly endless supply of information floating around, some helpful and some not. Working the net is one of the most economical and efficiennt ways of making yourself known. But there is a catch.
In order to be successful on the net, you must make a commitment to work. No matter what you do in life, the road to success is called work. The reward of hard work is the satisfaction that you have done your best. It is far better to have tried and failed than it is to fail to try. The world is full of people who fail to try because they are afraid of the work. No matter how many times you try and fail, if you persist and keep on working, you will succeed in your endeavors.
The drive to work is built on the foundation of belief in what you are doing. If you are not sold on the the worth of what you are doing, you will never stay the course until the task is done.
The same truths apply to our walk with God. Maintaining a viable relationship with God takes a lot of work. Successful Christian living only comes to those willing to pay the price of commitment, self-sacrifice, and work. Great is the reward of those willing to work out their salvation.